Happy New Year! As we head into the new year “New Year New Me” will be plastered everywhere. People will share their goals and ambitions both in person and online, targeted ads will try and get you to start anew, and various memberships will drop in price to hook you. And while all of that may be exciting, going into the new year with the mindset that you have to be a completely new person may be doing more harm than good.
The idea of the “new me” was originally because most people set unachievable goals to become their ideal self and put their past self behind them. However, it slowly twisted itself into something negative as the idea of the past self is the “bad” version and you have to now spend the new year “fixing” yourself. Instead of doing that, we should be focusing on who we are now. It is great to have an idea of who you want to strive to be and set realistic goals to get there, but we shouldn’t be hating ourselves simply because a new year has started. You do not have to love yourself fully as you are, but it is important to make peace with yourself as you are now before trying to change.
Try to be thankful for yourself now. I know, it’s not easy, but if you can find at least one thing you like about yourself, you’re beginning your journey. Perhaps you have some cool curly hair, a set of beautiful brown eyes, a loud fun laugh when you see a funny meme, or who knows what else! Even the smallest thing is a good start. Once you’ve acknowledged something you like about yourself, it’ll be easier to find other things you like. From here, if you’d like, you can set some goals this year to like yourself even more. But remember, you have to be realistic!
What does that mean? It means most goals people set are unattainable, which is why you see so many people give up by the end of Jan. There are a lot of common goals, but the main one is working out. You’re not going to magically start going to the gym 5 days a week if you haven’t gone before or in a while. Wanting to workout is great for your health! But first ask yourself, what’s your motivation? Do you want to get fit, be healthier, or is there another reason? If you have a strong motivation, you’ll stick with a realistic goal which would be going once MAYBE twice a week to a gym or for a walk/run. You have to work your way into working out and remember that you will not see results right away! It takes time to see visual results of being active/working out. You may feel some internal results such as having more energy, being happier, feeling more motivated, or overall feeling good about yourself. But you have to be patient with yourself and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t go for a week. Life can happen, don’t give up but don’t push yourself beyond your capabilities.
Another common goal is eating healthier. This one is more attainable, but people still try to do it all at once and give up easily. You are not going to magically switch your entire diet overnight, but you can make small adjustments. Start by finding a healthy snack you enjoy, fruit tends to be the easiest, and add it to your day at some point. Toss an apple in with your lunch, eat a banana with breakfast, munch on some grapes for a midday snack, or eat an orange after dinner. Then you can try cutting back on an item of junk food you eat too much, such as chips or candy. Once you get into that habit, you can try adding more healthy food into your diet and cutting back on junk or eating fast food, but remember to take it one step at a time. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t ever enjoy ice cream, candy, or chips again, it just means you don’t eat as much of it! Everything can be bad for you if you eat way too much of it, but if you balance your meals and snacks you’ll be healthier and feel better!
There are a few other common resolutions, such as saving money, adopting a new hobby, stopping a bad habit, or getting organized. These are all great, all resolutions are, as long as you take baby steps instead of going to extremes. Want to save money? Try cutting back on one thing instead of every aspect of your life. Want to try something new? Watch some introduction videos to the topic and don’t drop $100 on something you may not enjoy. Want to stop a bad habit? Depending on the habit, finding support is the best way to stop. What to get organized? Don’t redo your entire home in one weekend, instead pick an area that could be redone and start there to see how you feel about it. Whatever the resolution is, don’t do the extreme version.
This year let’s focus on our small achievements/goals. Strive to be happy regardless of how things turn out, or do whatever you can within your power to change situations. Find support that will help you achieve your goals and remind you that it’s ok to take time to relax/heal/recover from whatever life throws at you. Instead of “New Year New Me,” let’s say “New Year New Vibes” to bring in some positivity.